Tag Archives: manners

Holiday Gift-Giving in the Office – Do’s and Don’ts

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There is enough stress during the holiday season without worrying  about how to handle gift-giving in the office.  More than a few people struggle with this issue every year. Do any of the following questions ring a seasonal bell with you?

  • Should you give a gift to everyone you work with?
  • Do you need to buy a present for your boss?
  • What are appropriate gifts?
  • How much should you be expected to spend?
  • When is the right time to present your gifts?
  • What if you cannot afford to a gift exchange?

The list goes on. So what can you or your office do to eliminate the stress and confusion around this time-honored workplace tradition?

The first thing to do is to establish a company policy on gift-giving. If the company does not have one, then decide with your co-workers how you want to handle this challenge. Make sure that everyone is on board with the collective decision. Many people would prefer not to give gifts at work during the holidays. If you choose to exchange gifts in the office, here are some points to consider.

  1. Honor those people who don’t want to participate in a holiday gift exchange. Reasons for not engaging could range from religious or cultural to financial. Choose a process which allows people to opt-in, rather than opt-out. One way to do this is by passing around a sign-up sheet for those who want in. No pressure or judgment should be placed on those who don’t sign up.
  2. Set a low dollar limit which will make it easier for everyone to participate. After all, holiday time can be costly at best.
  3. Stay within the limits set. Just because you can afford something better, going over will not win you any friends. Now if you found something you like on sale, that’s okay. However, avoid going into detail about the original price as opposed what you paid for it. That is completely unnecessary.
  4. Avoid giving inappropriate items to your co-workers. Those include personal gifts such as clothing, jewelry or perfume. Save those items for family and friends. Gag gifts are also on the banned list. Not everyone thinks the same things are funny so don’t give a gift that could be offensive. You’ll have to work with the person you offended long after the holidays.
  5. If you want to give a special gift to a close colleague, do it outside the office, not in front of others.
  6. There is no obligation to give the boss a gift.  Sorry, boss. Gifting should flow downward, not upward. Consider this: the boss makes the most money and is the person who should be buying for the employees. When everyone pitches in to buy something for the boss, guess who ends up with the most expensive gift in the office? If everyone feels strongly about giving to the boss, set a dollar limit there as well and collect a minimal amount from each employee.

These rules for gift-giving in the office are designed to make the process more joyful and less stressful. Don’t use them as an excuse to play Scrooge or the office Grinch.

About Lydia Ramsey

Lydia Ramsey is on a mission to stamp out rudeness and enhance professional conduct in the workplace. She is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, sought-after speaker, trainer, author and newspaper columnist. She is the author of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits and Lydia Ramsey’s Little Book of Table Manners.

Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her at LydiaRamsey.com to leave a comment, ask a question or learn more about her programs and products for businesses, corporations, associations, colleges and universities.

 

 

 

 

 

Flying Etiquette – It’s Time for a Few Tips

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With the holidays upon us, more than a few people will be taking to those formerly friendly skies to visit family and friends or perhaps to take a special vacation. Wherever they are headed, one thing is for sure—their air travel will have its share of challenges.

British Airways has unveiled an unofficial rulebook on flying etiquette in an effort to help their passengers handle some sticky in-flight issues. The airline surveyed 1,500 travelers in the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy to get their thoughts on etiquette in the air.

Given the diversity of countries and cultures, there were naturally conflicting opinions on the do’s and don’ts of mile high manners. The results are food for thought for those taking flight.

The airline tackled what it considered to be the four biggest areas of contention: Should you take off your shoes and socks in flight? Who owns the armrest? Should you engage in pillow talk with your seatmate? And what are the rules about waking a sleeping neighbor?

Shoes and socks on or off? Not surprisingly, travelers overwhelmingly agreed that removing your socks is unacceptable, but taking off your shoes is all right. The one group taking the opposite approach was the Italians. Apparently, taking off either is tantamount to undressing in flight. My perspective on this is that it’s fine to take off your shoes as long as your socks are clean. And no bare feet, no matter when you last washed them.

Who owns the rights to the armrest? There was general agreement that every flier should have at least one. The point of contention was the middle seat. Is that passenger entitled to one, two or none? American and British fliers seemed to want to claim both armrests; whereas the French, Germans and Italians said that he who asks first shall prevail. Now that hardly seems fair to me. The poor soul who is wedged in a middle seat ought to be given more consideration. Besides, I can never recall hearing anyone asking permission for an armrest. More often than not there is a silent battle between seatmates.

Pillow talk: is it okay to chit chat? There was general agreement that passengers should acknowledge each other with a smile and a quick greeting. After that US and UK fliers are not eager to engage in conversation and have their subtle ways of sending that message—like taking out a book or putting on their headset. Italians, being the friendly warm people that they are, enjoy a good in-flight conversation. Ignoring your seatmate entirely may cause you to miss out on a good connection and an interesting experience. I once sold copies of one of my books to a seatmate.

Should you wake a sleeping seatmate? You need to make a trip to the lavatory and the person between you and the aisle is asleep. What to do? This could well be my favorite. 80% of travelers say that it’s okay to wake your neighbor, but 40% say that you should only do it once per flight. I wonder if there was any consideration given to the time in flight. It seems to me one needs to be more flexible on this issue. However,if you find yourself making frequent trips to the restroom, book an aisle seat. And don’t overlook the etiquette of climbing over. Global etiquette dictates that you make a face-to-face exit. Try it; it’s not easy.

The fourth question begs a fifth: What to do about the seatmate who is snoring? Here is where the majority of people tended to be polite and said they would ignore those intermittent outbursts—all except the British who would not hesitate to give a chap a nudge.

There are indeed rules of flying etiquette to be observed when you take off for the holidays, it’s clear that not everyone can agree on what they should be. Perhaps that’s why there is so much turmoil in the air these days.

You can’t control how someone else behaves, but you can manage your own manners. Showing as much consideration for your fellow passengers as you would like for them to show you could just possibly bring about a return of the friendly skies. Oh for the good ole days.

 

Lydia Ramsey is on a mission to stamp out rudeness and enhance professional conduct in the workplace. She is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, sought-after speaker, trainer, author and newspaper columnist. She is the author of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits and Lydia Ramsey’s Little Book of Table Manners.

Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her at LydiaRamsey.com to:

  • leave a comment
  • ask a question
  • learn more about her programs and products for businesses, corporations, associations, colleges and universities.

 

 

 

How Do You React to Poor Customer Service?

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How often have you encountered a surly sales clerk or a sour server? Unfortunately, most of us find ourselves on the receiving end of poor customer service more frequently than we’d like.  Some people just seem to show up for work in a bad mood. Like your mother used to say, “They act like they got up on the wrong side of the bed.” When the cashier ignores you or the waiter doesn’t have time to be friendly, it shouldn’t be your problem, but it is.  How should you, as the customer, react when you run into this kind of behavior?  Should you respond in kind, chastise the employee, report the incident to the next level or simply go away and never come back?

Start by treating others as you would like to be treated.  That’s not such a novel idea. Everyone knows the Golden Rule, but some people seem to have forgotten it or perhaps they made a conscious decision not to play by it.  When you find yourself face-to-face with a grump, take the high road. Start by making eye contact, smiling and speaking in a pleasant manner. The grouchy person might possibly perk up and react positively to your behavior.

If your upbeat attitude does not rub off, resist the urge to counterattack.   Going straight for the throat at the first sign of trouble will only make the situation worse and cause you to look bad in the eyes of everyone else. In today’s world, people tend to take matters into their own hands. We see examples of rage and anger all too often, and they never end well.

When you encounter poor customer service or rude behavior, report it to the appropriate person and do so politely. Stay calm. Your concerns will be taken much more seriously if you are cool and collected.  If you rail at the manager, your complaint will be discounted. You will look like the problem rather than the employee.

You can choose to avoid the issue by walking out and vowing never to return. With this kind of non-reaction, you do the business a disservice. Since avoidance is the last thing any establishment wants, give the owner or manager a chance to correct the problem.  Find a manager and report the issue.  The way those in charge react to your problem will let you know if your business is appreciated.

We all want to feel valued, especially when we are parting with our hard-earned dollars.  It is never too much to expect to be treated with kindness, courtesy and respect. Those businesses and their employees who don’t make customer service a priority and the responsibility of everyone in the organization will find themselves wondering where all their customers have gone.

Photo from Savanah magazine

Lydia Ramsey is on a mission to stamp out rudeness and enhance professional conduct in the workplace. She is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, sought-after speaker, trainer, author and newspaper columnist. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her at LydiaRamsey.com to leave a comment, ask a question or learn more about her programs and products. The author of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits and Lydia Ramsey’s Little Book of Table Manners, Lydia is available to speak at your next conference or meeting.

 

 

 

Should You Talk Politics at the Holiday Dinner?

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Thanksgiving Table MannersIt goes without saying that this has been a difficult year with a contentious presidential primary. You probably thought that peace would be restored once the election process was final. Wrong. In many ways, it has only gotten worse.  Do you dare talk politics during this holiday season?

Before the election, there were those who were willing to talk about the candidates’ behaviors and their verbal attacks on each other, but reluctant to disclose how they planned to vote. As soon as the polls opened, people came out of the woodwork to declare their position and candidate of choice.

You follow the news. You know what has happened since. A lot of it is ugly. As the holidays approach and friends and family gather for the traditional festivities—particularly the holiday dinner–do you dare talk about the election?

No one is naïve enough to believe that family gatherings always go smoothly and joyfully. Every family has one or more members who can stir the pot—not necessarily the one on the kitchen stove. How do you handle that person, or persons, this year who wants to talk politics, the ever-forbidden conversation topic?

Is it wrong to bring up the subject or talk about the obvious “elephant in the room”? Maybe not. How you do it is the tricky part.

  • Do you try to force your opinion on everyone else?
  • Do you put down those who don’t agree with you?
  • Do you become argumentative?
  • Do you toss your napkin on the table and stomp out in anger?
  • Do you force people to take sides and polarize the family?

I hope not.

The political situation cannot be ignored. It’s like living on the coast of Georgia, as I do, and not talking about Hurricane Mathew that ravaged my community. The 2016 election is too much a part of our lives to disregard. It should be discussed and acknowledged, but in a way that values all opinions.

  • To use a cliché, you should agree to disagree.
  • Keep your mind open to the views of others.
  • Listen without being offended.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Question without challenging.
  • Beware your body language.
  • Give yourself permission not to join in the conversation.

I am not so naïve as to think that everyone will play by these rules. Some of these family gatherings will end in disaster. Just make sure that you are not the one who caused the 2016 holiday event the one to remember for all the wrong reasons.

Approach those whose opinions you do not share with kindness, courtesy, respect and a heavy dose of tolerance.

13-0811 Lydia Ramsey eBook CoverFor more information on how to handle this and other holiday issues, order a copy of my ebook, Business Etiquette for the Holidays.

 

lydia_sm-e1393277822156Lydia Ramsey is business etiquette and modern manners expert, keynote speaker, seminar leader and author of Manners That Sell-Adding the Polish That Builds Profits. Based in Savannah, Georgia, she travels across the US and as far away as India and Dubai to work with clients that include universities, corporations, small businesses, associations and non-profit organizations. Her topics range from flip-flops to forks. Visit her website www.lydiaramsey.com for more information about her services and resources.

Etiquette and Good Manners Post Election 2016

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business etiquette expert

After what has been the most divisive and disgraceful presidential primary in modern times, if not ever, when all sense of human kindness, courtesy, etiquette and good manners have been abandoned, we are coming to the end. By that I mean the end of the primary; certainly not the end of the election.

Tuesday the polls will close and later that evening or early the following morning, we should know the name of the next president of the United States. Will that be the end of this period of great angst and stress, or will it be the beginning of an even more dreadful period?

The choice, I believe, is a personal one. You and I cannot control the behavior of others, but we can determine our own. While many have used this presidential primary as an excuse to behave inappropriately, to do and say the most hurtful things about others, it is time to stop and reflect.

Should our words and actions mirror those of the candidates? I think not. It’s time to revisit the meaning of etiquette and good manners. Have we forgotten the value of treating each other with kindness and respect no matter our differences? To quote Michele Obama on their family’s motto when others say or do hurtful things, “When they go low, we go high.”

No matter your feelings when the winner is announced, will you take the high road or the low? Will you gloat to your co-workers who voted for the losing candidate? Will you sulk about the office if your choice was the losing one?

What if we all took this opportunity to put aside any differences and vow to be more accepting of the thoughts and feelings of others? What if we all decided that it is time to heal and not to hurt? If we do, perhaps our future will be brighter than we had anticipated; and our period of distress and disagreement will be over.

Let’s take a page out of President George H.W. Bush’s history book when he wrote his memorable letter to President Clinton in 1993 congratulating him on his victory and pledging his full support. Let’s all go high.

Learn how to “go high” in your behavior by reading my book Manners That Sell!

Good Manners Equal Good Customer Service

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customer serviceDo you think that good manners and customer service are one and the same?  If you answered “yes”, you’re right.  Isn’t it amazing how many people don’t seem to understand that today?

Everywhere you turn, there is someone with a horror story about customer service. Any businessperson who doesn’t believe that good customer relations are the key to success will not be around long.  Treat people well, and they will continue to come back. Treat them poorly, and they will go elsewhere.

When people have a bad experience, they usually leave without saying why.  When the waiter is rude, you don’t go back to that restaurant. And you rarely tell the owner what went wrong.

However, when the name of that restaurant comes up in conversation, chances are good that you will tell other people more than they wanted to know about your unfortunate experience.  If the incident was bad enough, you won’t wait for an excuse to speak up. You’ll create one, and the people you tell will pass your story on.

Offering quality customer service is simply a matter of good manners and basic courtesy.  It means smiling at the customer and making eye contact, not just putting your hand out for the money while chatting on your cell phone with a friend.  Simply put, focus on the customer.

Hold the door for people coming into your business. Rise when someone enters your office. See that people are comfortable if they have to wait.  Offer a cup of coffee or something to read. Having Wi-Fi available is a must these days. Some doctors’ offices have even installed televisions in their exam rooms so patients can pass the time watching their favorite shows.

Listen to your customers when they have a problem and sympathize.  Take responsibility for what goes wrong if even you don’t feel it was your fault.

When people feel valued, they will come back.  If they sense that you could care less about them or their needs, they will look around until they find someone who does care. It may take a while; but when it happens, your customer is history.

It is always easier to keep current customers than to try to find new ones. Use the same customer service strategies for everyone, and you will see your business and your bottom line grow.  You can learn more about customer service in my book Manners That Sell!

customer service

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Etiquette for How Long You Should Wait When Meeting Someone

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Woman in business suit looks on the hand of the clock close up

 My rule of thumb for how long you should wait for someone who is late is 25 to 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you can move on with your day or evening. At that point this is pretty much a no-show.

The length of time you should wait is no different for family or friends than it is for your boss or a professor. After 30 minutes, you are good to go with no apology.

There are people who are habitually late. They are being rude and disrespectful of other people’s time.

Sometimes the unavoidable happens. For instance recently I got trapped in my garage. Tropical Storm Collin had hit during the night. The electricity went out. I couldn’t get my garage door up so I was stuck and going to be late for a meeting. Of course, I had my cell phone in hand and was able to contact the person I was to meet.

To avoid keeping someone waiting and wondering, I suggest that you always exchange cell phone numbers with the person in case the unexpected occurs. And make sure your phone is sufficiently charged.

I also suggest that you contact the other person the day or the morning before you are to meet to confirm the time and the place.

Things do happen, but we can minimize the impact with a Plan B. It’s just good manners.  You can learn more about good manners with my book Manners That Sell.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Can You Accept a Compliment Graciously?

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iStock_000058964220_LargeMarch 1st was World Compliment Day although I am not sure how many people were aware of it. Did you receive a compliment then or do you even remember? If so, how did you handle someone saying something nice to or about you? Did it make you feel good or did you find it awkward?

Many people say they have a hard time receiving compliments. They don’t know how to respond and will attempt to brush off a kind remark. Some people have told me that when they receive compliments, they attempt to deny, deflect, explain away, apologize or end up sticking their foot in their mouth with some weird comment.

Why do we react negatively to compliments? Sometimes it is because of our own inadequate feelings about ourselves. It could be that we don’t trust the person who is saying nice things to us. Do they want something from us? On the other hand, it may be the fear of appearing arrogant if we accept the compliment.

The way you handle a compliment says a lot about you and your self-esteem. Apologizing, blushing, looking away or appearing uncomfortable tells people that you don’t have a high opinion of yourself.

So how do you respond to a compliment? With sincere appreciation for the time and the kind words. Make eye contact with the other person, smile and simply say “Thank you.” Once you develop the habit of thanking people for their thoughtfulness, it will become easy to reply with confidence and add a comment.

After you say “thank you,” then add a bit of personal information.  When someone says, “That is a really beautiful necklace;” you respond with “Thank you, it was a gift from a good friend.”

Another option is to share your feelings about the subject. “That was a wonderful presentation you gave our team.” “Thank you, it was my pleasure.”

Say “thank you,” and repay the compliment. “That project you worked on so hard turned out to be a huge hit. “Thank you.  That means a lot, coming from you.”

The confident professional person appreciates a compliment and receives it graciously. The confident professional also gives compliments. They make other people feel good about themselves—and also the one who offers the kind words.  After all, showing kindness, courtesy and respect for others is what etiquette and manners are all about.

I agree with Mark Twain who said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Customer Service Training Pays Off

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Business Etiquette - The Key to SuccessHow many times have you been the victim of poor customer service? At one time or another, we’ve all been on the receiving end of bad manners. Perhaps when you walked into a store,  the salespeople were more interested in finding out what each other had done the night before rather than helping you. Maybe you made a phone call to request service and were greeted with the smack, smack, smack of chewing gum. Could be you asked a question about how to use a new product only to see boredom and disdain cloud the eyes of the support person just before he lapsed into condescending language with you.

I’ve heard (and passed along) horror stories like these—and much worse. There was the clerk chatting away on her cell phone, never bothering to ask if I needed help, and the receptionist who didn’t look up from her magazine until I had reached her desk and stood there for some time.

Usually we leave these businesses with distaste and disappointment, our money still tucked in our wallets. The next time we need a similar service or product,  we go elsewhere. We’re not likely to return to the place where we were treated rudely and where customer service is not a priority.

In my business etiquette presentations, I ask for a show of hands from those people who will go out of their way and pay more money for the same product or service because they prefer being treated with kindness and respect. Just about every hand goes up and heads nod.

It is common knowledge that all things being equal, we tend to do business with people we know, like and trust. And when all things are not equal, we still tend to do business with people we know, like and trust.

Good manners and customer service are one and the same.

Any business that doesn’t understand that customer relations have everything to do with success will not be around long. If we treat people well, they will become loyal customers. If we treat them poorly, they will leave. Worse, they’ll tell all their friends about their poor customer service experience.

There’s one basic rule to teach every employee at your company whether you own a Fortune 500 or a mom and pop store on the corner. It’s the Golden Rule. Treat your customers and clients the way that you want to be treated. Better yet adopt the Platinum Rule and treat your customers the way they want to be treated.

When people enter your business, greet them immediately. Smile and make eye contact.

Hold the door open when you see them coming. Rise when someone enters your office.

Call people by name. Wow!

Don’t keep people waiting. When they must wait, tell them how long it will be and make them comfortable by offering a cup of coffee or a glass of water and something to read.

Listen attentively when your customers have problems and offer to help.

Take responsibility when things go wrong even if it wasn’t your fault. The most irate customer can be calmed by this selfless act in a world so accustomed to the lively game of blame.

It really isn’t complicated. If we treat clients and customers with courtesy, we send a message that we value them. When people feel valued, they come back. But if they sense you couldn’t care less about them or their needs, they will look around until they find someone who does care. It may take awhile, but when it happens, your customer is history.

An investment in customer service training is one of the best investments you will ever make in your business.

If I can help, let me know.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Thanksgiving Table Manners–Let’s Talk Turkey

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Thanksgiving Table MannersLet’s talk about your Thanksgiving table manners–and not a minute too soon. After all the clock is ticking.

You might expect that I am about to tell you which fork to use and how to remove that unwanted item from your mouth during the meal, but I’m not. I am going to go off the grid and talk about some of those pesky little things that occur at the Thanksgiving gathering of friends, family and close workplace associates.

Here are a few of the do’s for minding your Thanksgiving table manners:

  • Do think about topics for conversation ahead of time. There is a lot happening in the world. Not all of it is good as you well know. Steer clear of doom and gloom. And for heaven’s sake, don’t talk about the current election or pre-election issues. Think about interesting and noncontroversial subjects to discuss. Don’t ask anyone questions that are intrusive, like “So when do you two plan on having children?” or “Have you given any thought to getting married any time soon?”
  • Do offer to bring a dish or a beverage to the dinner. No surprises, please. Ask the host what you can do to be helpful or to complement the meal. If you decide to take flowers at the last minute, be sure that you take them in a container and already arranged. The host or hostess should not have to stop receiving guests or preparing the meal to search for a vase and make a floral arrangement at the last minute. If you bring wine without notice, don’t expect it to be served at the meal. In fact, make it clear that it is a gift for later.
  • Do offer to help either before the meal to set things out or afterwards to clean up. Unless the host has a staff of servants, you need not expect to be waited on hand and foot. You are there as a participant not an observer.
  • Do leave that cell or smart phone in the off position and out of sight. Please, please, please do not put it on the dining table or anywhere that will give the impression you are either terribly important or terribly bored.
  • Do remember to thank your host on your way out for the wonderful time and the delicious meal–even if you hated those sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on top.
  • Do sit down and craft a handwritten note as soon as you get home. Nothing expresses gratitude in quite the same way as a personal note that you took the time to write.

One last tip: if you do find yourself with something in your mouth that you can’t chew or swallow, the rule is that it comes out the same way it goes in. So if it went in with your fingers, it comes out with your fingers. If it went in with a fork or spoon, it comes out with a fork or spoon. If that rule sends shivers down your spine, go with the latest advice for modern manners, hold your napkin to your mouth with as little fanfare as possible and remove the item with your fingers. Feel better now?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lydia

P.S. If you have other concerns about your Thanksgiving table manners, you can order my eBook on holiday etiquette and download it immediately before you go to that Thanksgiving dinner. With my book in hand (should you choose to print it out) or on your laptop, iPad or phone, you will sail seamlessly through the holidays.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com